The Bible App #33 Most-Downloaded iTunes App in 2011

Every December, Apple announces the top apps in each category in the iTunes Store for the entire year. For 2011, in the free Reference category, the Bible App™ from YouVersion was #33 on iPhone and #100 on iPad! Just to offer a little perspective, Apple recently announced that it’s seen more than 18 billion downloads go through the Apple App Store. And there are currently more than 520,000 different apps there.
iTunes App Store Rewind 2011 and the Bible App™
If you don’t already have the Bible App on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, why don’t you give it a try? (It’s always 100% free.) And if you do already have the Bible App—especially if you haven’t found The Other 16 yet—you might consider bringing up Apple’s Rewind 2011 as a way to share about it. Mentioning that the Bible App was one of the best apps of the year is a great conversation starter!

If you’d like to see all of the top apps mentioned in Rewind, just visit the iTunes Store and click the Rewind 2011 button scrolling through the top menu:
iTunes Rewind 2011 Button

The Bible App for Android: New Release Packs in Convenience, Control

The Bible App™ Dashboard Launcher on a Google NexusBrand-new Version 3.7* of the Bible App for Android is in the Android App Market now. While we’ve fixed some bugs in this update, more importantly, we’ve brought you several great new features:

  • Reading Plan Reminders. Schedule the Bible App to pop up your Reading Plan whenever it’s most convenient for you.
  • User Profile View. Coming for the first time to the Bible App for Android, now you can work with your account settings all in one place—name, profile image, contact information, and more. You can even browse your Friends’ profiles and the profiles of people who are following you.
  • More Privacy Controls. When people view your profile, you can control whether they can see the reading plan(s) you’re subscribed to.
  • Better Language Support. We’ve improved the way Bible text displays for Greek, Armenian, Khmer, and Bengali.

We’ve even integrated a few commonly-used features directly into the Bible App, previously available only through the YouVersion.com website:

  • Password Reminder. If you forget your YouVersion password, you can have the Bible App send a message to your email of record to help you reset it.
  • Password Change. Change your password from right inside in the Bible App.
  • Notification Preferences. Tell YouVersion which of your account actions you want to trigger messages to you.

Spread the word! The Bible App for Android makes it easy to share your journey through the Bible with your friends—from inside the app—whether you’re posting to Facebook or Twitter, or sending an email or text. Consider showing your friends the Bible App on your device, or even offering to help them install it on theirs. A new release of the Bible App can be a great conversation starter!


*This release supports Android version 1.6 and higher, as well as Apps2SD.

Experience All of YouVersion: Now Available in French

L’Appa Bible™ et YouVersion.com maintenant en FrançaisFor the first time ever, every part of YouVersion is now available completely in French: the interfaces at YouVersion.com and in the Bible App™, technical support, communication, Bibles, and so much more. Of course, French has been available at YouVersion.com for some time now, but that’s just one small part of what YouVersion has to offer.

French is YouVersion’s eleventh complete language launch. English was first, then Norwegian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, German, and most recently, Dutch. Today, we’re officially announcing many of the ways that you can engage with the YouVersion community—entirely in French:

French Menus, Buttons and Controls. Our incredible YouVersion volunteers have been working behind the scenes for months to translate the entire YouVersion user interface into French for your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android, or BlackBerry device. All you need to do is set your device’s default language to French. Or, if you have the latest Bible App for iOS update, you can change the interface language in your Bible App Settings.

Communication in French. Français is one of several languages you can select at the top right of the English version of our blog—or just go directly to the French version. Either way, you’ll find blog posts specifically for you, written in French. To ensure that you receive updates and other YouVersion communication in French, you’ll need a free YouVersion account, then visit Settings at YouVersion.com and select Français as your preferred language.

French Technical Support. If you have any questions about YouVersion.com or the Bible App, try checking the French version of our Technical Support site. If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, contact us in French, and French-speaking YouVersion support volunteers will be happy to respond to you.

YouVersion’s ongoing mission is to make the Bible freely available to as many people as possible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer. Because the French language serves so many people all over the world, we’re thrilled to bring the whole YouVersion experience to French speakers, no matter where they call home:

French Speakers in France. According to The World Factbook, 62.8 million people live in France, making it the 21st most populous nation in the world. While France’s entire population speaks French, according to Wikipedia, French is actually the first language for many more people, as well—somewhere between 70 million and 110 million—with another 190 million beyond that claiming French as a second language.

French Speakers Around the Globe. Outside France, French is the native language of Monaco, Switzerland’s Romandy region, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, and Quebec and Acadia in Canada, as well as various other communities around the world. French is the second most common language in Canada, federally recognized as an “official” national language. And variations and different dialects of French are spoken in countries literally all over the planet.

Welcome to the YouVersion Family! We’re excited to welcome our newest friends, French speakers and readers, no matter where you live. In a few days, we’ll share more details on our blog about more that we have to offer you. In the meantime, we’d love for you to get started connecting with the YouVersion community on Facebook and Twitter. We’re so glad that you’re here!

New Features and Fixes for Bible App for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch)

Profile Settings page on the Bible App™ for iPhone v. 3.7Release 3.7 of the Bible App™ for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is available now in the iTunes App Store. We’re introducing two convenient new features in this latest release:

  1. User Profile View. Now for the first time, you’ll be able to review and change your account settings all in one place—like your name, your avatar image, your contact information, and more. You can even browse your Friends’ profiles, and the profiles of people who are following you.
  2. Sign Up With Google. If you already have a Google account, you can sign up for your free YouVersion account using your Google login, right inside the Bible App. This makes creating your account one simple step, since you won’t need to verify your email address.

We value your feedback! When the YouVersion community reports issues to us—whether through our Support website, Facebook, or Twitter—we try to investigate each one, prioritizing them according to which ones are affecting the most users. For example, here are the main challenges we’ve fixed in release 3.7 of the Bible App for iOS:

  • Language Change. When you changed languages in your Bible App Settings before, it could cause the app to crash.
  • Residual Popups. Sometimes on iOS 5, when a message popped up (such as from a launcher notification), you couldn’t make it go away.
  • Long Book or Chapter Display (iPad). When trying to select from books with more than 30 chapters, or from chapters with more than 30 verses, the iPad wasn’t correctly displaying all of them.
  • Main Reader View Distorted (iPhone). When you received a call or if you used your iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, the notification slide-in was compressing the main Bible Reader view.

Get Your Update Now:

If you already have the Bible App installed:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Updates icon.
  3. Tap Update for the Bible App.
    OR
    Tap Update All.

If this is your first time installing the Bible App:

  1. On your Apple device, tap the App Store icon.
  2. When the App Store opens, tap the Search icon.
  3. Search for “Bible”.
  4. Tap the Bible App from LifeChurch.tv.
  5. Tap the FREE button.

Recap: Nov 30 YouVersion Webcast

It was so exciting to get together with thousands of our closest friends during our live webcast yesterday! We don’t take for granted all that God has done through YouVersion—and especially what He has done through you, the worldwide YouVersion community. It was a rare treat having the opportunity to address your great questions from #YouVersion on Twitter. (Sorry we couldn’t get to every one!) Thanks to your participation, #YouVersion even became a trending topic worldwide on Twitter!

If you missed joining with us live, we’ve put together a list of some of the high points for you, along with the complete event video:

Key YouVersion Links:

A Quick Review

Installs. In November of 2010, the Bible App™ was installed on 10 million unique devices. As of today’s webcast, it’s now been installed on more than 34 million. That represents 2 million installs… per month.

Bible Languages. We want to make the Bible freely available to as many people as possible, no matter where they live or what language they prefer. In November 2010, we offered Bible translations in 22 different languages. As of today’s webcast, we now have Bible translations in 61 different languages.

Bible Versions. When YouVersion first launched in 2008, we offered just 12 versions of the Bible. A year ago, YouVersion had 48 different versions of the Bible for to you to choose from. As of today’s webcast, YouVersion now brings you 187 versions. And more are on the way. Within the next few weeks, we’ll pass the 200 mark.

Reading Plans. As of today’s webcast, 52 partners are graciously providing the YouVersion community with more than 200 different reading plans, in many different languages. By the end of 2011, we expect to increase that number to 220.

Volunteers. Everything we do is accelerated through the passionate dedication of hundreds of volunteers, devoting themselves to serving the YouVersion community from literally all over the world. Our small team could never reach the numbers of people that we reach in partnership with you. If you’d like to see the many ways you can help, learn more at our brand-new volunteer website.

In a Minute. During the average minute: the Bible App is installed on 52 unique devices, 1,698 people open the Bible App to read the Bible, and people share 21 different passages on either Facebook or Twitter. And these are just a few examples. To help you really see how the Bible App serves the YouVersion community, we’ve prepared a comprehensive infographic that breaks down many of the different things that happen in the Bible App during just one minute.

Resources for Pastors and Churches. If you’d like to help the people in your church connect with the Bible more, we’ve created several tips, explanations, and tools you can use to help those in your circles better understand what the Bible App is, what it has to offer, and how easy it is to get.

Still to Come… We’re comprehensively updating YouVersion.com, working to make its feature set more consistent with what you’ve become accustomed to in the Bible App. If you have a free YouVersion account, we’d love for you to take a look at the beta version and let us know what you think. (Please understand: The beta is still very much a work in progress, and this is a limited-time offer. Don’t move all of your Bible engagement to this beta version!)

We never stop working on making the Bible App easier to use to connect with the Bible every day—more reading plans, more Bible versions, more devices, more robust tools, more of everything. Still, the most common request we hear is to make the Bible App easier to use as part of a group, so we’re adding community-oriented features to help you engage together. You should see an update to the Bible App for Android this week, and an update to the iPhone version soon. Both will allow you to view your friends’ profiles and connect more with your community.

Later we plan to add features that will allow you to set reminders to help you remember to get in your reading plan, and even to receive your reading plan selections through a daily email. As always, you’re in complete control of your YouVersion experience—you choose how you want to interact with the Bible App.

The Other 16. One in every 17 iOS devices (Apple iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches) already have the Bible App installed. And, one in 17 Android devices have also already installed the Bible App. That means that on each of these platforms, there are 16 people who still haven’t installed it on their device. But you can help! When you meet someone with a smart phone or mobile device, ask them if they have the Bible on it. And if they don’t, consider offering to help them install the Bible App. (Remember: It’s always completely free.) We’re working on a new tool that will give you an easy way to tell us about your 16. When you use it, we’ll send you a free t-shirt and some Bible App stickers.

What Can You Do?

  1. Engage. Is the Bible a part of your everyday life? If you haven’t already been using Reading Plans, consider signing up for your free YouVersion account and trying one. Reading Plans divide up the Bible into manageable portions, making them a great way you can establish—and keep!—a daily habit of spending time in God’s Word.
  2. Share. Share the Bible App and YouVersion with others. Help the other 16 find what you’ve already discovered for yourself!
  3. Join. The entire YouVersion community is powered by the passion of volunteers. Join us as together we pursue the vision of reaching the entire world with God’s Word. Even with the extraordinary volunteer community already partnering with YouVersion, it’s just not enough. We need literally thousands more. Please come and share your passion with us.
  4. Give Thanks. Look up your favorite Bible version in the Bible App. Go to any page of the Bible in the reader, scroll to the bottom, and look at the information about the organization who makes that version available. Please contact them to express your gratitude for their generosity—and perhaps even consider supporting their work financially. We couldn’t do what we do without them!

One Minute in the YouVersion Community

During every minute of the day, people around the globe are actively using the Bible App to engage with Scripture. This infographic shares a quick look at what happens in just one minute in the YouVersion Community.

(View the infographic at full size.)

12 Days of Christmas Come Early as NIV Made Available for Download

Green Download Button from the Bible App™For a limited time, you’ll be able to download the New International Version (NIV) for offline use in the Bible App:

Starting 12:00 AM Thursday, December 1 Central Time U.S. (GMT -6)
Ending 11:59 PM Monday, December 12 Central Time U.S. (GMT -6)

Once again, you’ll be able to download the NIV. If you missed your chance last time, or if you know someone who did, spread the word and make sure you take advantage of this opportunity. Special thanks go to Biblica and Zondervan for making the NIV available to the YouVersion community!


Note: When you look at the available versions on your device, remember to hit the “Refresh” button, to ensure that the list you’re seeing is the most current.


Downloading offline versions:

What does offline mean? Many versions in the Bible App™ are available to download to your mobile device, generously provided by Bible publishers free to the YouVersion community. (And several of these are available all the time—not just during promotions.) When you download a version, you can read it literally anytime, anyplace, even when you can’t connect to your service provider or to the Internet.

Below are links to detailed instructions on how you can download your free copy once the NIV becomes available again on Thursday, December 1. Mark your calendar, and be sure you don’t miss this opportunity!

Get Ready for Christmas with Advent Reading Plans from YouVersion

Advent Reading Plans in the Bible App™It’s easy to get so caught up in the busyness of the holiday season that we lose track of what it’s actually about. YouVersion.com and the Bible App offer several topical and devotional Reading Plans specifically designed to help us remember the true meaning of Christmas. Many of us in the YouVersion community participate in Advent, the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, using this time to purposefully refocus our hearts toward celebrating the miracle of God coming to earth in human form. Please consider joining us with one of the following plans:

  • Countdown to Christmas is a fun Advent activity calendar, designed to help the whole family learn about the significance of Christmas. Presented by Focus on the Family’s online magazine, Thriving Family. 29 days
  • Christmas Begins with Christ is a devotional focusing on the light, joy, peace, and hope surrounding the birth of Jesus. Brought to you by Tearfund, an international aid agency working to end poverty. 28 days
  • Rediscovering the Christmas Season features selected Scriptures and practical reflections to help you center each day on Christ. Developed specifically for the YouVersion community by LifeChurch.tv. 25 days
  • Carols: A Christmas Devotional is a brand new Reading Plan that looks into the biblical origins of songs written to celebrate the true joy of the season. Developed by LifeChurch.tv for the YouVersion community. 25 days
  • The Christmas Story first presents context for Jesus’ birth from Old Testament prophecy about Him, then turns to the Gospels to chronicle His humble beginnings. Brought to you by YouVersion. 5 days

While each of these plans are directly related to the Christmas season, YouVersion now has more than 200 other Reading Plans you can choose from—some even in different languages. So you can always find a plan that’s just right for your goals.

Reina-Valera 1960 and Chinese New Version Bibles Now Available as Audio

Reina-Valera 1960 and Chinese New Version Bibles Now Available as AudioWe’re pleased to announce two new audio versions of the Bible, available in the Bible App™ right now. Try the New Testament of the popular Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR60) in Spanish, or the modern Chinese New Version (CNV and CNVS) in Mandarin.

Because it’s such a popular translation among Spanish-speaking Christians worldwide, we’re very excited to offer a New Testament audio version of the 1960 update of the Reina-Valera. The Chinese New Version of the Bible is a similar story. First available in 1992, the CNVS and CNV have grown in popularity ever since, particularly among readers seeking a more modern translation in common, “everyday” language.

If you haven’t experienced an audio Bible in your heart language yet, we’d encourage you to explore the versions list in the Bible App. Just look for the speaker icon for audio versions you can listen to as you commute, work, or exercise.*


*Audio Bibles use streaming audio, so be aware of your service provider’s data restrictions. For the best audio Bible experience, we recommend a Wi-Fi connection.


Here’s How to Listen…

Inside the Bible App:

  1. Go to the Bible Reader.
    (In most versions, you get there by selecting “Bible” from the main dashboard screen.)
  2. Tap the “short code” abbreviation for the currently-selected Bible version. The list of all available Bibles displays.
  3. Reina-Valera 1960: Select Español for the language, then select “Reina-Valera 1960.”
    CNVS: Select 简体中文 for the language, then select “CNVS 新译本(简体字版).”
    CNV: Select 繁體中文 for the language, then select “CNV 新譯本(繁體字版).”
  4. Back in the Bible Reader, tap the speaker icon.
  5. When the audio controls display, tap the play button.

To learn more, visit YouVersion’s support site and select your platform (left) and language (bottom). Look under “Other Features” for “How do I listen to audio?”

Volunteers Translate YouVersion into Dutch

When people first learn about the Bible App™ from YouVersion, many reasonably assume that we probably offer at least a few versions of the Bible. But what most probably don’t realize is that the Bible App will allow them to immediately access 160 versions… in 51 languages… entirely free. Most new users also probably don’t know that they can experience all of YouVersion—not just the website, but relevant blog posts, complete technical support, email communications, and the entire mobile version (the Bible App), including all its menus, buttons, and controls—in any of ten different languages. How do we do it? By partnering with you.

The YouVersion community is only possible because of our global network of extraordinary volunteers. People just like you passionately contribute their gifts and talents to ensure that others will also get to know the joy of engaging with God’s Word in their own heart languages. Generous Bible publishers partner with YouVersion too, providing both up-to-date, popular translations and deeply loved “classic” versions. And we’re honored to serve in God’s kingdom alongside all of you. Your hard work through partnerships like these have given YouVersion to the world in English, Norwegian, Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Russian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, and German, and now—in Dutch.

Partner Volunteers

Even with great design and engineering, if you couldn’t read the Bible App’s buttons and menus, how would you use it? Fortunately, because volunteers share our vision to make the Bible freely, easily accessible to as many people as possible, no matter what language they speak, many are willing to offer their abilities as translators. And because of their contributions, we’re now pleased to welcome Dutch users into the YouVersion family. Of course, we can always use more help. The Bible App and other YouVersion tools are constantly in development, as we strive to make them not only more useful, but easier to use. As just one example, Dutch speakers can now receive assistance and technical support entirely in Dutch, submitting their requests through email, Facebook, or Twitter. And volunteers are who make it happen.

If you can help with translation into Dutch or other languages, we’d love to hear from you. Serving other YouVersion users—all over the world—can literally change your life. But don’t just take our word for it. Read for yourself what some of our awesome Dutch language volunteers have to say about the reasons they serve:

Dutch Language Volunteer Joshua J.

“When the opportunity came to join in translating the YouVersion Bible App to Dutch, I jumped right in. A lot of Dutchmen are great with English, but it gives you a special feeling to use an application in your mother language. Through the work of Dutch volunteers, the Bible App can now be used as a full-fledged Bible in Dutch churches.”
—Joshua J., Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

Dutch Language Volunteer Annemarieke R.

“A couple of years ago, I bought an iPod touch and got the YouVersion App. When a call for translators got out, I volunteered because I have done translating before. And translating into Dutch is easy for me—I am Dutch born and bred, and I studied Dutch language and literature, even though I now live in the U.S. with my family. I also volunteered because there can be no better cause than proclaiming God’s Word in every language to all people, and modern technology provides the perfect means. May God bless all our efforts!”
—Annemarieke R., Grand Rapids, MI, USA

 

Dutch Language Volunteer Yanick G.

“I was using YouVersion for some time, but I thought it was a shame that some of the youth in my church couldn’t use it because of the language barrier. But instead of complaining about it and waiting for someone else to start working on it, I decided to roll up my sleeves and get to work myself. And that’s how I joined YouVersion’s Volunteer team. It’s been a crazy ride, but now that the project is well on its way, I feel blessed to be a part of such a great international team that made it possible for Dutch-speaking people to engage in the Bible—thanks to the help of YouVersion.”
—Yanick G., Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Netherlands

Bible Publishing Partners

Of course, YouVersion is entirely centered around God’s inspired Word, the Bible. While volunteers partner with us to make things happen, our community also requires the generous support of Bible publishers and societies. In Dutch, while we already offer Het Boek (HTB) and Statenvertaling (SV1750), we’ve also been working hard to bring you additional modern, easy-to-read versions. Keep checking here on our blog for news about translations into Dutch, and watch the “Nederlands” space in the Bible App and on YouVersion.com’s versions page for new additions!